- Seventeen authors, including John Grisham, Jodi Pickult, and George R.R. Martin, jointly filed a lawsuit against OpenAI, accusing it of engaging in widespread copyright infringement through its ChatGPT program.
- The Authors Guild organized this lawsuit, arguing that ChatGPT is a significant commercial practice that relies on widespread copyright infringement.
- Several other similar lawsuits have recently been filed in California.
Seventeen authors, including John Grisham, Jodi Pickult, and George R.R. Martin, are suing OpenAI for “coordinated theft on a grand scale,” which means the artificial intelligence program was copyrighted. It is the latest in a wave of lawsuits by authors concerned that their work is being used without permission.
In a filing Tuesday in federal court in New York, the authors allege “blatant and pernicious infringement of Plaintiffs’ registered copyrights,” calling the ChatGPT program a “massive and gross violation” that relied on “large-scale organized theft.” “It’s a large-scale commercial enterprise.”
The lawsuit was organized by the Writers Guild and also includes David Baldacci, Sylvia Day, Jonathan Franzen, and Elin Hilderbrand.
“There is an urgent need to stop this theft or else it will destroy the great literary culture that feeds so many other creative industries in the United States,” Mary Razenberger, CEO of the Authors Guild, said in a statement. I will do it,” he said. “Good books are usually written by people who have spent their careers, and indeed their lives, learning and perfecting their craft. In defense of our literature, authors must have the ability to control whether and how their work is used by generative AI.”
The lawsuit cites specific ChatGPT searches for each author, including one in which the program searches for an “infringing and unauthorized prequel to Game of Thrones” titled “Rise of the Direwolf.” It also includes a search by Martin, which claims to have produced a “detailed summary.” “Used the same characters as Martin’s existing A Song of Ice and Fire series of books.
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OpenAI’s press office did not respond to a request for comment.
Earlier this month, several authors, including Michael Chabon and David Henry Hwang, sued OpenAI in San Francisco for “clear intellectual property infringement.”
In August, OpenAI asked a federal judge in California to dismiss two similar lawsuits, one involving comedian Sarah Silverman and one involving author Paul Tremblay. OpenAI said in a court filing that this claim “misunderstands the scope of copyright, with limitations and exceptions that adequately leave room for innovations such as the large-scale language models currently at the forefront of artificial intelligence.” (including fair use).”
Author opposition to AI prompted Amazon.com, the country’s largest book retailer, to change its policies regarding e-books. The online giant is now requiring authors who wish to publish through its Kindle Direct program to notify Amazon in advance that their books contain AI-generated content. Amazon is also limiting authors to three new self-published books per day on Kindle Direct in an effort to limit the spread of AI texts.